Drag Queen Appearance At Olean Public Library Sparks Controversy


Image by Justin Gould/WNYNewsNow.

OLEAN – A Buffalo-area drag queen spent part of Wednesday evening reading, dancing, and singing to young children at the the city’s public library despite strong words from several detractors via social media. 

Flo Leeta hosted an event called Drag Queens Kids’ Party. The event was part of the library recognizing Pride Month.

The books Flo Leeta chose to read to the children were considered age-appropriate and positive.



“That might be the best thing I’ve ever done,” said Flo Leeta immediately after the performance. “There were hundreds of people out front for support, and only about five decenters.”

He said the battle to gain acceptance for the LGBTQ community is ongoing but much progress has been made in the last several years.

“It can only get better,” said Flo Leeta. “Now we’re having drag shows in public library’s; this is the world we live in.”



Olean City Police established a subtle perimeter around the library while a peaceful crowd gathered outside, mostly in support of Flo Leeta’s performance.

Image by Justin Gould/WNYNewsNow.

Social media was abuzz with activity leading up to Wednesday’s event. Police were made aware of some comments from a group that purported to represent skinheads out of Pennsylvania, according to Olean Police.

Image by Justin Gould/WNYNewsNow.

“There was an element of that (skin heads) over in Pennsylvania who chimed in on Facebook or Twitter and said they were going to come over here (library), so we planned accordingly,” said Jeff Rowley.

Police report no arrests and no trouble at Wednesday’s event.

3 Comments

  1. This is disappointing because it is not accurate. As a journalist, there’s a distinct difference between drag and the trans community. Drag is simply a performance like being a clown at Halloween, which the drag performer stated in your video. Trans is knowing your entire life is meant to be the other gender and blend in culturally with society simply as the person you identity which can involve extensive surgery or growth hormones and medically-approved procedures, not put on flamboyant costumes to simply be yourself and not a performance. The headline is factually inaccurate which causes sensationalism and the editorial should issue a correction for factual inaccuracy. Please consult the Associated Press stylebook and media guide for more information on this.

    • Thank you for fixing the article name. Please note that it remains on Facebook as Transgender (I haven’t checked the videos uploaded) due to the Facebook system of collecting the data when it was first uploaded. Unfortunately it does not update in realtime.

  2. Also, there are numerous spelling and grammatical errors in this “story.” This does a disservice to the message of the event.

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